Over the past 7 years in playing music, I've been lucky to work with some amazing leaders, and a few not so amazing leaders who have modeled for me what works, and what doesn't. Here's five things I most admired in music leaders:
5. Communication. Reaching out to band members regularly about details in the setlist, explaining the vision of the group, and generally providing direction is a sign of smart leadership. By keeping the dialogue going in and out of practice, it keeps me more engaged as a musician.
4. Details. I love it when a music director hands me a detailed set list, complete with charts and audio files for practicing at home. Staying on top of details like set lists, itineraries, and band expectations (dress, pay, etc) helps ease tensions at shows, and lets me be more effective at practices.
3. Delegation. The best leaders I know are great at delegating work to other bandmates. One of the first bands I was in had a leader who was great at this – Kevin would always hand off aspects of the production to each person onstage, which allowed us to feel more engaged.
2. Consistency. Treating all the bandmates fairly ranks high in my book, even if there's different standards for individual musicians. Consistently sticking with standards help to keep people happy and feeling like they're being treated fairly.
1. Vision. Communicating to the band why we are doing what we're doing is the single most important part of being a great leader.
Did I miss something? Post it below in a comment.